DeWitt (aka Allan Woodrow, author of The Pet War, 2013) delivers a repetitious sequel to The Contagious Colors of Mumpley Middle School (2013).
Soon-to-be seventh-grader Wilmer Dooley and his friends head to a remote hotel for a science fair. On arrival, the attendees start behaving oddly; Wilmer is sure his returning nemesis, Claudius Dill, is responsible. He tries to investigate, but he’s hampered by his fellow students’ peculiar behavior as well as their jealousy—but mostly by the unwanted attentions of Harriet, who thinks Wilmer is amazing. Can he use his powers of observation to find out what is really going on? And will he be able to tell Roxie, girl reporter, how much he likes her? This second Mumpley Middle School tale again attempts humor focusing on food: Wilmer’s mother adds ludicrous ingredients to her cooking, pal Ernie is always hungry, his dad is known for his BUZZZ! goodies. To this, DeWitt adds frequent phone calls about fake punny diseases to Dr. Dill and more frequent nonsense spouted by mind-controlled kids…but it’s just not funny. For a genius, or even a smart kid, Wilmer is pretty dim. His supporting cast is to-a-man annoying, especially Harriet, and all the adults are either boringly, bumblingly evil or daftly negligent. What real science facts there are can’t recommend the title, since they will be lost to the target audience amid the fake science facts.
Outlives what smiles it may induce by about 200 pages. (Fiction. 7-10)